A petition was filed at the Court of Appeal yesterday seeking a writ of quo warranto to disqualify UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe from being a Member of Parliament, declare that his appointment as a member of Parliament was void and state that he had no right to continue to hold office as a member of Parliament.
Sharmila Roweena Jayawardene Gonawela, Co-Chairperson of Women for Justice, filed the petition, naming Ranil Wickremesinghe, UNP General Secretary Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dassanayake, Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank as respondents.
The petition states that Article 91(1)(e) of the Constitution of the Republic bars individuals who have any interest in public contracts from election as a Member of Parliament and that Wickremesinghe is a shareholder of Lake House printers & Publishers PLC that prints cheques for state owned Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank and national savings Bank.
It states that Wickremesinghe is the ninth largest shareholder of that company.
The petitioner has also asked the court to grant an interim order restraining Wickremesinghe from sitting in Parliament and voting for various motions until the conclusion of the final hearing and determination of the application.
The petitioner has cited Dilan perera vs. Rajitha Senaratne (2000 (2) S.L.R. 79), which led to UNP MP Senaratne losing his seat. The court was moved against Rajitha entering into various contracts with state institutions as a partner and a Director to supply dental equipment.